The Grey Fairy Book - online childrens book

Illustrated classic fairy tales for children by Andrew Lang

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BOBINO                                    199
taking you to your death, and, what is worse, I am doing so by the order of your father.'
' But why,' exclaimed Bobino, ' does he want me to die? What evil have I done him, or what fault have I committed that he should wish to bring about my death?'
' You have done him no evil,'answered the servant, 'neither have you committed any fault; but he is half mad with anger because, in all these years of study, you have learnt nothing but the language of animals. He expected something quite different from you, that is why he is determined you shall die.'
' If that is the case, kill me at once,' said Bobino. ' What is the use of waiting, if it must be done? '
' I have not the heart to do it,' answered the servant. 'I would rather think of some way of saving your life, and at the same time of protecting ourselves from your father's anger. By good luck the dog has followed us. We will kill it, and cut out the heart and take it back to your father. He will believe it is yours, and you, in the meantime, will have made your escape.'
When they had reached the thickest part of the wood, Bobino got out of the carriage, and having said good-bye to the servants set out on his wanderings.
On and on he walked, till at last, late in the eveningr he came to a house where some herdsmen lived. He knocked at the door and begged for shelter for the night. The herdsmen, seeing how gentle a youth he seemed, made him welcome, and bade him sit down and share their supper.
While they were eating it, the dog in the courtyard began to bark. Bobino walked to the window, listened attentively for a minute, and then turning to the herds­men said : ' Send your wives and daughters at once to bed, and arm yourselves as best you can, because at mid­night a band of robbers will attack this house.'
The herdsmen were quite taken aback, and thought that the youth must have taken leave of his senses.
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